Love Disney? Hate Lines? Disney now offers a VIP tour experience that is like nothing else.
What it is: A private tour for up to 10 guests where you (yes you!) decide the itinerary for the day accompanied by your very own Magic Guide Disney Cast Member. This is a highly personalized 7 hour experience that takes you behind the scenes, and on any ride you choose in any park. At the time of writing this, the one exception was Rise of the Resistance at Galaxy’s Edge in Hollywood Studios. When I went Rise had been open about 30 days and they were working out how to offer it, so I expect this to change shortly and be part of future VIP tours.
What it is not: This is not a behind the scenes tour, behind the scenes access is for ease and efficiency, not for touring the back areas. It is not front of the line access for every ride, but you do enter through and wait in the fast pass lines which are typically less than 10 minutes. Also, this tour does not include park admission, you must buy your park tickets and the tour separately.
Just to let everyone know, my family and I paid full price, I did not tell Disney that I would be coming, or that I am a blogger. I was seeking the authentic experience- and it was awesome! I will definitely be doing this again.
Our magic guide Homer picked up our family of 5 from the Yacht Club promptly at 9am in a large clean and comfy Suburban. The typical pick up time is 10am, but I asked to change it one hour early and they were happy to accommodate me. We got in the car, and headed first to Hollywood Studios where we were met by cast members offering us snacks, bottled water, candy, drinks, and more. They scanned our magic band park tickets and we were immediately in the park and headed to our first ride. We did not have to wait in the security/ bag check line but entered through the behind the scenes areas. Note: pictures are not allowed in any of the behind the scenes areas, Goofy might literally leap out and tackle you if you try.
We chose to start in Toy Story land, riding all of the rides (some twice) and Homer even rode with us. He quickly became part of the family and everyone was completely in awe of his abilities on skill games like Toy Story Mania and Buzz Lightyear. He knew where the cameras on the rides were for funny photos, and was a walking encyclopedia of Disney knowledge. Homer also asked where we liked to sit and made sure that I had a front row seat on every ride and coaster the entire day in every park.
We moved on to Galaxy’s Edge, which like I said at the time did not include Rise of the Resistance since it was so new. It did include Smugglers Run where the fast pass lane was actually not up and running yet. The only line available to the general public was the standby line or the single rider line. The only way to skip the line was to go on a VIP tour. Homer was great, he told us the best places to stand, and hidden secrets in each ride. It was a little like hanging out with Walt Disney himself. Every ride we had front row seats and a premium experience. There were so many details that made the experience better that I would have never seen or known about on my own. He knew where the restrooms with the shortest line were (important for women), and the even took us to the cult fave purple wall. He took family photos and rode rides with us. We had an absolute blast.
Now, I know I said the VIP is fast pass line and not front of the line, but some attractions are true front of the line. When we went on the Tower of Terror at Hollywood Studios, we went behind the scenes, through a back entrance, and right on to the ride (front row of course). Check out my cousin Dennis in the white shirt next to me. Best. Photo. Ever. There are a handful of rides where the Magic Guides can do this and I loved the glimpse into the inner workings of the happiest place on Earth.
After Hollywood Studios, we got back in our (air conditioned) SUV and headed to another park- Magic Kingdom. It’s worth noting that as long as you have the park hopper ticket and the time, then you can go to as many Disney Parks and ride as much as you want. We chose to do 2 parks, but we probably could have done another had we pushed it. Once again we were met behind the scenes and offered snacks, cold water, candy, and other treats.
Our family rode all the rides, ate all the snacks (Dole Whip obsessed here), and took all the pictures. Homer made everything run smoothly, took family photos, made sure we saw everything (even the secret stuff), and generally ensured we had the best day ever. At the end of the tour, we were all gifted with a VIP Tour Disney pin. My dad said this was the best vacation he can ever remember taking and we all plan on doing to tour again.
Magical experiences at Disney aren’t cheap, but are in my opinion, worth it. The tour is seven hours long, priced per hour, and you have the purchase the entire seven. In low season, it’s approximately 550$ per hour, in high season it’s approximately $650 per hour, and during the holidays it is approximately $750 per hour.
As I stated before, the park ticket is not included and must be purchased separately, and gratuity is not included. It was my understanding that if you had a wonderful experience (and lets face it, how could you not?) then 10% of the total price of the tour is customary to give your guide.
I’m a total Disney nerd and have been a million times, and this ranks right up there with the best experience. This experience is ideal for families with a limited amount of time, families with kids with a limited amount of patience, or navigating the parks during very busy times. This would also be great for two families to do together and split the cost, just remember to stay under 10 people.
Now sign up and head to the Happiest Place on Earth! Please tell me about your experience if you go, and tag me in your photos! I would love to see them!
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